Reynolds attends IWD board meeting at The Well

·2 min read

May 16—PELLA — The Well hosted new (and familiar) visitors at its Pella facility Friday.

The Iowa State Workforce Development Board held its quarterly board meeting at The Well. In attendance were Gov. Kim Reynolds; Beth Townsend, executive director of Iowa Workforce Development; other state representatives; and a dozen other board members from businesses across Iowa.

Jayson Henry, CEO of The Well, is a member of the board. Henry volunteered to host the meeting outside of Des Moines as a way to share the work being done at The Well. Tours were given throughout the facility before and after the meeting to highlight the organization's Resource Center, Thrift Store and Well Works program.

"For our organization The Well, this is a great opportunity to network with other businesses and leaders in the state that have the same passions, so it's just a great way to connect and collaborate," Henry said.

The purpose of the quarterly board meetings is to discuss the development and implementation of a 20-year workforce development plan; prepare for a five-year strategic plan; review grants; provide recommendation of federal funding from the department; and adopt administrative rules, among others.

"It's important for us to be out in the community. It's important for the community to see that the State Workforce Board is more than just people who meet in Des Moines. It's made up of state representation as we've seen, so it's important that we have a presence around the state," Townsend said.

At the May 13 meeting, the board discussed challenges in the workforce, re- and unemployment, education and external marketing to attract more people to the state. According to Reynolds, there are more than 90,000 jobs available in Iowa.

"We've been working on this for such a long time, and I really feel like we're really seeing some great momentum. Everything's coming together and starting to pay off, so of course we have a lot of work ahead of us," Reynolds said. "The realignment from unemployment to re-employment, to working with our schools, to calling each and every school district about the opportunities in work-based learning and registered apprenticeship programs."

Reynold's commended the Career Academy of Pella and The Well for the work the program and organization are doing to help individuals succeed in the workforce.

"I can't be in Pella without giving a shout-out to the Pella Career Academy, you guys are doing what you should be doing, and we lift them [career academy] up all the time and connect other school districts to what they're doing," Reynolds said.

"They're [The Well] are doing the right thing for Iowans to help give them the support that they need," Reynolds added.

Emily Hawk is the associate editor of the Ottumwa Courier and the Oskaloosa Herald. She can be reached at ehawk@oskyherald.com.